What is the best time to send email marketing campaigns?
Email marketing is one of the main ways that companies communicate with their subscribers and potential customers, despite the rise of social media. This form of marketing is not going away, but traditional best practices are being thrown out of the window, and marketers need to focus on modern concepts. For example, marketers must think about how their email will render on mobile devices, how to use social media and email together, and whether they really need a plain text version.
Besides from the usual email marketing concerns (best subject line, frequency and image blocking to name a few) timing is one area that email marketers haven’t quite cracked. There isn’t an industry best practice, and marketers are usually told to test their emails, and then send at different times based on the results. Whilst this may be time consuming, it will help you understand the best time to send an email.
Here we will look at the variables you need to consider before sending your campaign.
Who are your intended recipients?
You can learn a lot about the correct timing of emails, simply by looking at your database. You should already know what type of contacts you have, have they subscribed through your website, or from a previous transaction? Or are you hitting your list cold?
What kind of subscribers are they? Take a look through your list at the domain names. If you have a large amount of commercial names, you’ll likely be a B2B marketer, while a high number of generic names will make you a B2C marketer. This should change your sending time considerations.
What is the best time of day to send a campaign?
If we knew the answer to this question, we’d be millionaires, but unfortunately there is no magic formula.
B2B: If you’re a B2B marketer you’ll likely be tied to office hours. Avoid sending an email campaign that will arrive in your recipient’s inbox when they’re arriving at work. They’ll probably have a mountain of emails and work to get through anyway, and won’t have time to read your content properly. Alternately if you leave your email too late in the day, it could get missed as people finish up for the day.
Try sending a B2B email in the middle of the day, typically from 11am to 2pm. People will be more relaxed around lunchtime, and may check their emails during their down time.
B2C: If you’re a B2C marketer, you’ll have more flexibility than B2B. These recipients tend to open emails in the early evening. Most people will check their emails once their children have gone to bed and the household chores are complete. Aim to send emails between 7pm and 9pm when people are relaxing, and checking their social and email accounts.
Which is the best day to send my campaign?
The answer to this question once again depends on your audience.
B2B: Avoid sending emails over the weekend or first thing on a Monday morning. Picture your own environment. No one likes to check work emails over the weekend and no one like to read 100 messages when they arrive at work on a Monday morning.
By Tuesday B2B workers are in full working flow, they’ll likely be motivated for the week ahead and they’ll be concentrating on their own work. By Thursday they’re looking forward to the weekend and aren’t thinking about work so much. Send your email NOW. Thursday has been shown to be the best day for email sends, as people are open to suggestions. Fridays are not the best day to send emails, as people have their weekend heads on. And then it’s weekend again, so no B2Bs will consider your message.
B2C: Again, you will have greater flexibility when sending to a B2C audience. Consider the message within your email. Are you a retailer or an entertainment company? It makes sense to send your emails before the weekend, so that people consider your business.
What is the best time of the month to send campaigns?
B2B: There are no clearly defined times. Again it’s best to consider the message of your email. Are you promoting a Christmas or Easter lunch? Make sure you advertise it with enough time in advance. Are you looking to sell something costly? Don’t send it towards to end of the financial year when companies are running out of budget.
B2C: Take a look at your own email inbox. The majority of emails are sent at the end of the month, when companies know that payday is approaching.
Of course, all this information is our opinion only. Email marketing success will depend on a lot of variables, and not just the send time. If you have time and the capabilities it’s best to send test emails, especially if you’re sending to a large database. That’s the only way to find out the best time for sends for yourself.